We recently had a caller call in about a terrible incident where they were carjacked and had to jump out of the vehicle while it was moving to avoid being abducted. The caller sustained serious fractures and underwent surgery and wanted to know whether insurance would pay for her injuries. The analysis is complicated, but follow along.
The first question is whether the liability insurance applies. Remember liability insurance covers you or anyone you allow to drive your car in the event they cause a crash. The short answer is because the thief has no permission, the liability insurance on the car does not insure against his actions or consequences.
The real inquiry is whether the uninsured motorist insurance covers the injuries. The minute the non-permissive user drives, the car is now not an insured vehicle and any injury caused by the operation of an uninsured vehicle should be insured against by the uninsured motorist insurance. But… here is where the policy language gets critical. Many uninsured motorist insurance policies have an exclusion saying that 1) an insured auto and 2) any auto you or a relative owns or regularly uses is not a qualifying uninsured motor vehicle. Originally this was probably designed to prevent spouse on spouse car violence from being insured against but it has serious consequences. With that policy language, if you get carjacked in your own car or a car that your relative owns, you are screwed and there is no UM coverage. If you are driving your girlfriend’s car though, there should be UM coverage available to you because it is not an excluded vehicle. Oh what a tangled web.